Swipe Right: Finding the Perfect Therapist
IT’S THE 21ST CENTURY, AND WE’RE FINALLY starting to talk about mental health more in everyday conversation. But sometimes it can still be difficult to talk about mental health when we’re talking about our own mental health, and not an abstract concept, especially when it comes time to seeking professional help for mental and emotional distress. We shouldn’t be embarrassed if we feel like we need a mental health tune-up! Seeing a mental health professional is no different than seeing a primary care doctor when you have a sore throat.
We’ve put together a few resources you can check out if you decide you’d like to see a therapist, but don’t know how to get started with finding one who would be a good fit. And remember, therapist shopping is a little like dating, so don’t lose hope if you don’t click with someone right away!
PsychologyToday.com is basically the best thing since boybands. In addition to being a great resource for information on mental wellness, this website has a really cool therapist search tool. You can narrow down therapists in your area by their treatment approach, their gender, the age group they most commonly work with, what insurance they take…the list goes on and on. You’ll be able to see pictures and read bios for each therapist to get a better idea of who you’d like to see. And their contact info is provided right on the page. It’s amazing.Insurance Company
If you have insurance, you’re probably interested in finding a therapist covered by your plan. Most insurance companies have doctor search features on their websites, and will pull up a list of covered providers. If you prefer a more personal approach, give your insurance’s member services line a ring! They’ll be happy to help you find a therapist covered by your plan, and sometimes will even offer to set up an appointment for you. Win-win!Ask a Friend
Your friends can be a GREAT resource for finding a therapist. Ask your friends if they have a therapist or counselor they get along with, or if they’ve heard good things about a doctor in the community. Word of mouth is an awesome way to find out real information and feedback about therapists in your area.Get a referral from your PCP
Do you have a primary care physician you’ve been seeing for a while? You can ask them for a therapist recommendation! Your primary care physician probably has a good idea of your history and personality, and would be able to direct you to one of their colleagues who they think would be a good fit for you.Local Churches
If you’re interested in talking with a therapist who comes from the same faith background as you, consider asking clergy at your local church for recommendations. Often these individuals will have a network of mental health practitioners they could refer you to.
*Important Note* your therapist should NOT share any information about your sessions with your clergy. This would break doctor-patient confidentiality rules.